[by Kate — guest gluten-free blog author]
I don’t know about you, but when I think of Tapioca Pudding I think about the richly diverse texture produced through the combination of a creamy, dairy base and the firm, chewy texture of the tapioca balls. Admittedly, this combination of textures really put me off the first time I tried tapioca pudding as a kid when my Dad, on occasion, would make it. This is perhaps because I hadn’t acquired a palate that could appreciate texture diversity, but I think it more likely due to the fact that the tapioca balls would often be jokingly referred to as “fish eggs” at some point in the cooking or eating process.
Eating the gluten-free Kozy Shack No Sugar Added Tapioca Pudding, I miss those little “fish egg”-like tapioca balls. While the flavor of the pudding is surprisingly good given that there is no sugar added, the tapioca balls are few and far between. When you get the tapioca balls in any mass it’s a real treat, which seems an odd thing to say about Tapioca Pudding!
Putting that critique aside, the Kozy Shack Tapioca Pudding is clearly labeled gluten free, and is healthy in various other ways. Weighing in at only 0.5 grams of fat and only 70 calories per serving (serving size is one 113-gram snack cup), the gluten free Tapioca Pudding makes for a nice, sweet treat for those of us who like to indulge in dessert or mid-day treats but who don’t want all of the calories and fat found in a lot of premade puddings and other items.
Even Kozy Shack’s Regular (versus no sugar added) Tapioca Pudding has nearly two times the number of calories (130)! In addition to being low-fat and low-calorie, the gluten free Kozy Shack No Sugar Added Tapioca Pudding boasts 4 grams of protein, Vitamin A (4%), and Calcium (10%).
I ate my gluten free Kozy Schack Tapioca Pudding plain so that I could more accurately report on the product, but next time I get a hankering for a mid-afternoon snack I think I’ll spruce my pudding up a bit with some freshly sliced strawberries, mango, or some blueberries! Any of the fruits would be complimentary in flavor to the pudding, and they might just add that bit of textural diversity I longed for but missed this time around.
I tried this product also and found it to be just "OK" for some of the same reasons Kate has pointed out — especially the shortfall of discernible tapioca balls. Even with no-sugar added (they add sucralose, or what many may know by the brand-name Splenda), the sweetness is fine. I just found myself adding a drizzle of pure vanilla and a light dusting of Cinnamon for a bit of extra flavor the second time I had one of these, and I liked the result; maybe their formula just needs slightly more vanilla.
I do want to point out a rather unique nutrition point for this produce: fiber! Who would have guessed that your gluten-free tapioca pudding could provide 4-grams of dietary fiber in only 70 calories? (and results in a minuscule 7-grams net-carbs) Kozy Shack has gone the extra step and added inulin (a natural dietary fiber) to the mix of low-fat milk, tapioca, and egg whites: the result is a product with a very high fiber-to-calorie ratio, which is something quite nice in a snack that young and old alike can enjoy. This product will certainly be quite nice for those with diabetes or otherwise watching their carbs / sugar intake.
Kozy shack has produced some very satisfying gluten-free snacks / dessert products, and we have reviewed some here in the past including the Kozy Shack Gluten-Free Chocolate Pudding (review link). I welcome the no-sugar-added tapioca to their wheat-free / gluten-free product lineup, and can only wish for some more tapioca-balls relative to the rest of the pudding makeup. I'd say the product is worth trying for yourself. enjoy!